November 22, 1996 in Nation/World

Straight Man Actor, Peter Leeds, Dies

Los Angeles Times

Peter Leeds, character and comedic actor who played straight man to such greats as Bob Hope, Mickey Rooney and Johnny Carson, has died. He was 79.

Leeds, who also was a performers union leader, died of cancer Nov. 12 in Los Angeles.

He accompanied Hope on 14 international military tours, worked on Broadway with Rooney in “Sugar Babies” and appeared with Carson on television.

Leeds tallied more than 8,000 appearances on television shows, backing up Milton Berle, Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, Danny Thomas and Red Skelton.

He appeared in such films as “Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town,” “The Last Time I Saw Paris,” “The Long, Long Trailer” and “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies.”

Leeds served as president of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists from 1971 to 1976.

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